Sligo Chamber’s key role in developing new EU-funded project management course

Sligo Chamber of Commerce and Industry this week played host to the latest partner meeting of P3 Express, a new EU-funded course designed to change how project management is performed across Europe.

The Erasmus+ course was created in 2016 in response to a report that found that more than half of all project managers fail to use the structured project management method taught during their qualification. P3 Express is a departure from traditional offerings as it eschews academic theory in favour of a more practice-based approach.

“We started developing the training guide in 2020 and now it’s available in 22 different languages, including Japanese and Chinese, and less commonly used languages like Serbian, Lithuanian and Slovenian. To date it has been used by around 70,000 people,” said Alexander Pattyn of the Professional Training Centre of Excellence (PTCoE), the Belgian group leading the project.

Alexander was speaking following the partner meeting to discuss the progress of the P3 Express rollout at the Chamber’s headquarters on Sligo’s Quay Street. The event is the second meeting of the partnership group following a conference in Brussels earlier this year.

Partner meetings are attended by organisations from six EU countries which assist in the support and development of P3 Express. These include organisations from Ireland, Belgium, Slovenia, Netherlands, Germany and Bulgaria. Sligo Chamber is Ireland’s sole representative in the partnership.

Frank Turley of PTCoE hailed Sligo Chamber’s “enormous value” to P3 Express, which is available for free online, pointing to the Chamber’s network of SMEs and offering of training courses as vital resources for feedback and product testing.

“Sligo Chamber has its finger on the pulse in terms of membership benefits and educational requirements, what companies want and how they actually operate, and how they learn in a company setting. The feedback from Sligo Chamber is really important,” he said.

“P3 Express will make project management easier to teach, learn and practice. There are three core skills that every worker needs – the ability to work either independently or as part of a team, communicate and project manage – and with the help of Sligo Chamber we are delivering something that is already making a real difference.”

Geraldine Courtenay Sligo Chamber Skillnet Network Manager outlines ” there are great opportunities that P3 Express will provide in the development of project management skills across all industries. The awarding of a European certification will provide added value to participants and member companies.”

Sligo Chamber CEO Aidan Doyle recognised that there was a certain prestige that went with hosting a meeting of European organisations in the Yeats County.

“It’s important for both Sligo and the North West region that we are part of these EU projects – for a number of reasons. Firstly , it’s great to see Europeans coming to Sligo and not one of Ireland’s larger urban centres. After the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s an opportunity to showcase what we have to offer along the Wild Atlantic Way,” he said.

“It’s also a chance to network and make connections with other partner organisations so we can share ideas. Sligo currently faces a number of challenges in terms of housing, energy and the environment and it’s very important that we can discuss these topics with our EU partners and to explore new ways to generate this kind of change.”

He continued: “The cross-pollination of ideas is important to the general health of Sligo, the North West, Ireland and Europe as a whole. We are very pleased to be a partner on this project.”